The first and most important reason was safety. Using dumbbells allowed me to lift heavier weights and if I could not finish that last rep I could just drop the weight.
Trying doing that with a barbell. The second reason I prefer dumbbell sets is that it takes more use of the prime mover muscles that help control the weights.
Another great reason is the you can pick up a set of cheap dumbbells or even a good set of used dumbbells. I recently came across and article that offer some great tips on using dumbbells. Below I have included 5 reasons why dumbbells rule.
Explosive training. Hedrick says most machines do not lend themselves well to explosive training. Dumbbells, on the other hand, are suited to explosive training, which is the focus of most of the exercises his athletes perform.
No need for specialized equipment. Many exercises performed with barbells require specialized equipment—bench, squat rack, Olympic lifting bar, bumpers, platform. In contrast, most dumbbell exercises require only an open space for training, a rubber mat or piece of plywood to protect the floor, and an adjustable exercise bench.
Minimal space requirements. As far as storing dumbbells and exercising with them, little training space is required for dumbbell training. Compare this to machine training (where multiple machines are required for training the entire body) and barbell training (where training occurs with an eight-foot-long barbell and a recommended two-foot cushion on either end of the barbell).
Thanks to their size, dumbbells require very little space during training. As Hedrick points out, “While you do want a safe buffer around an athlete training with dumbbells, it is possible to train more athletes in a smaller area than could train on either machines or with barbells.”
Limited number. Very few adjustable dumbbells are required for training the entire body. For most people, a weight range from 5 pounds to 70 pounds in 5-pound increments will provide the resistance required for most exercises. This limited number of dumbbells makes it possible to train all of the major muscle groups.
Beneficial for people with injuries. Dumbbell workout training makes it easier for people with injuries to continue to train without aggravating the injury. While an athlete with an arm or shoulder injury would not be able to train the upper body using a barbell, it is possible to perform one-arm dumbbell training using the uninjured arm.
Similarly, a lower-body injury would prevent an athlete from performing Olympic lifts with a barbell, but by using just one dumbbell, stabilizing the body by holding on to something stable with the opposite hand, and lifting the injured leg off the floor, an athlete can adapt the Olympic lifts to accommodate one leg. Continue reading…
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